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April 08, 2023
Glasgow Warriors 31 - 21 Emirates Lions
European Challenge Cup match played at Scotstoun on Saturday April 8th 2023 | No comments
Jack Dempsey got things going for Warriors after a well-worked lineout move Glasgow Warriors did just enough to overcome a powerful Emirates Lions outfit to secure a 31-21 win and a Challenge Cup semi-final meeting with Scarlets.
Jack Dempsey, Jamie Dobie, Zander Fagerson and Tom Jordan all claimed tries in the historic win at Scotsoun Stadium, with George Horne contributing 11 points with the boot.
Lions, who lost winger Rabz Maxwane to an early injury, enjoyed long spells of possession and territory but failed to make the most of their advantage despite tries from Sanele Nohamba, Francke Horn and Morne Brandon.
Dempsey led the charge for the Warriors, scoring the opening try from a slick lineout move in the ninth minute, Horne converting to put the hosts 7-0 up.
Another well-worked try released winger Dobie down the left touchline after great handling from Huw Jones and Ollie Smith.
The Lions pressed for a score before halftime, but scrumhalf Nohamba had his try chalked off for double movement as Glasgow headed into the break with a 14-0 advantage.
The impressive Nohamba scored early in the second half and converted his own try to close the gap to seven points.
That was quickly cancelled out as Glasgow hit back through Fagerson, who forced his way over the line from close range.
Horn's score for Lions in the 64th minute teased a thrilling finish but a penalty from Glasgow's scrumhalf and try from replacement Jordan ended the visitor's hopes.
Lions hooker Brandon scored with four minutes to play, but the game was out of the their reach by that stage, and Franco Smith's men sealed their place in the final four of a European tournament for the first time.
After the match, Smith told BBC Sportsound: "It was an interesting performance in the sense that we didn't have the ball much.
"We looked nervous in attack which is uncommon, but I can understand why - there's a lot of passion and the guys don't want to disappoint. There was a fantastic effort in defence. It's fantastic for the club and I'm pleased to be a part of it.
"[Scarlets] are playing well at the moment. Every game is important now, so we will take things one game at a time."
Glasgow scrum-half George Horne, who was perfect from the tee, told BBC Sportsound: "They are a physical team and they don't go away, but just chuffed to sneak home at the end there.
"They put us under pressure and held onto ball well. Some of our sets on our own line were outstanding.
"We've put a lot of emphasis on both the league and Europe this year, and we just want to get better every week. We're excited to get into a semi and see what we can do.
"It's a dress rehearsal against Scarlets next week. We want to win every game, so a bit of momentum and a psychological edge would be nice. We know what they can do at home, so it will be tough."
Player of the Match Rory Darge has been talking to BT Sport: "Can't wait for another big game [in the semi-final]," he said.
"We're proud of the effort. They were on our line four times in the first half and didn't score a point.
"It was brutal - they are big boys, and they carry hard, but we stuck to our principles and it was really good to be a part of."